CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – Humor is subject to the receiver, of course, and what is funny is as distinct to each individual as a fingerprint. Having said that, I found “Zoolander 2” to be hilarious, as it delivered again what made the first film work – tweaking the self-importance of fashion and celebrity.
CHICAGO – “That’s not what greed does; that’s what greed is.” Cormac McCarthy’s script for “The Counselor” is so weighed down with allegedly insightful philosophy like this that it collapses into a heap of laughable, unbelievable exchanges between characters who simply don’t exist in the real world.
CHICAGO – Writer/director Woody Allen continues his film travelogues in “To Rome with Love,” touring The Eternal City with four separate vignettes. An all-star cast – including Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Woody himself – hit and miss with this varying blend of stories.
CHICAGO – When I heard that Johnny Depp had been sucked back into the cash cow that was the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise so shortly after everyone agreed that the series had run its course with the original trilogy, I was more than a little sad. Depp is still one of our most interesting actors and I’m not alone in wishing he would show a bit more of his range in recent years instead of taking easy roles (and, yes, Jack Sparrow is fun but this is not challenging work for the movie star). And the mediocre reviews caused a bit of dread when the Blu-ray showed up on my desk. So, consider it faint praise when I tell you that “On Stranger Tides” is, well, okay.
HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 5 Blu-Ray, DVD Combo Packs of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’Submitted by HollywoodChicago.com on October 11, 2011 - 10:22pm
CHICAGO – In our latest blockbuster edition of the HollywoodChicago.com Hookup, we have 5 Blu-ray and DVD combo packs up for grabs to the highly anticipated home release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”!
CHICAGO – It’s easy to remember that the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is on its fourth formulaic film, but harder to remember that it’s based on a freaking amusement park ride! Director Rob Marshall livens it up with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
CHICAGO – History will be kind to “Nine”. Due to wildly extreme expectations caused by the pedigree of the film’s cast, many critics and audiences dismissed Rob Marshall’s musical on its release in late 2009. “Nine” falls short of perfection but the Blu-ray release proves that it gets a lot closer than most people thought the first time they saw it.
CHICAGO – Very few directors have known how to utilize a star more effectively than the way Pedro Almodovar has turned Penelope Cruz from a gorgeous face into one of our best working actresses. Just the two films she’s made recently with Pedro - “Volver” and the new-to-DVD “Broken Embraces” - would earn her that title. “Broken Embraces” may not be perfect Pedro but sub-par Almodovar is still required viewing for all cineasts.
CHICAGO – The nominees for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, February 2nd, 2010 and “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” led the way with nine nominations each, closely followed by fellow Best Picture nominees “Inglourious Basterds,” “Up in the Air,” and “Precious”.